Canada-Caribbean Community (CARICOM) Trade Agreement Negotiations
Discussions towards the negotiation of a possible Canada-CARICOM Trade Agreement were announced at the Canada-CARICOM Summit on January 19, 2001, in Jamaica. Following four rounds of exploratory discussions, the Right Honourable Prime Minister Stephen Harper announced, on July 19, 2007, the launch of negotiations towards a trade agreement between Canada and the Caribbean Community member countries. (See News Release: New initiatives aimed at strengthening Canada's historic relationships with members of the Caribbean Community (CARICOM)).
Canada and CARICOM have held four rounds of negotiations to date. The first and second rounds took place in Bridgetown, Barbados, in November 2009 and March 2010. A third round of negotiations was held in April 2011 in Ottawa and, most recently, a fourth round was held in Barbados during the week of July 16, 2012. Progress was made during the fourth round, including on goods market access, services, investment, and development cooperation. This progress included an exchange of views and information that assisted both sides in better understanding each other’s interests and concerns.
A bilateral trade agreement with CARICOM could deliver commercial benefits across many sectors of the Canadian economy, including industrial goods (e.g. pharmaceuticals, products of base metals such as iron, steel, and copper, electrical equipment), agriculture (e.g. french fries, pork cuts, pulses) and fish and seafood. In some of these sectors, CARICOM tariffs range from 5-60%. A trade agreement with CARICOM would also provide a more secure and predictable business environment for Canadian investment, and enhance market access for Canadian service providers.
Canada is committed to negotiating a modern trade agreement with CARICOM that will take into account differing levels of development, vulnerabilities associated with island states, and trade-related capacity challenges. CARICOM’s Members are: Antigua and Barbuda, The Bahamas, Barbados, Belize, Dominica, Grenada, Guyana, Haiti, Jamaica, Montserrat, Saint Lucia, St. Kitts and Nevis, St. Vincent and the Grenadines, Suriname, Trinidad and Tobago.
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